MORGAN -- A pilot who left Morgan County Airport early Thursday morning was killed when his single-engine aircraft crashed into a nearby mountain shortly after takeoff.
The pilot was on his way to Logan when he crashed about five miles north of the airport, said Sgt. Scott Peay, Morgan County sheriff's deputy and supervisor at the scene.
The pilot was identified as Darren Tidwell, 50, of Huntsville, said Morgan County Sheriff's Deputy Tyler Grose.
He said Tidwell was an engineer working on a project in Logan and that's why he was flying there. He successfully made the same trip to Logan on Wednesday.
The man had left the Morgan airport around 6:30 a.m., heading for Logan. When he had not come home by 4 p.m., his wife asked Joe Garfield, Morgan County Airport manager, to try to find him.
Garfield and another pilot flew to Logan to search for the missing man but did not discover the downed plane until 5 p.m., just about dusk, when they were almost home, said another Morgan County pilot who wished to remain anonymous.
The pilot, who was alone in the plane, had both military and private pilot experience, Grose said.
He had purchased the single-engine yellow Grumman AA1 last summer and flew it frequently, Peay said.
It was not known if the man had a medical issue or whether the plane had a mechanical issue. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Red, flashing lights crowded the airfield Thursday night while a Morgan County search and rescue team located the body.
Utah Highway Patrol was on the scene with its maroon A-Star helicopter, as was the Life Flight helicopter and an ambulance. Morgan County firefighters were called to the scene as part of the standard emergency response.
The body of the pilot was located around 8:30 p.m.
"The flight conditions were good," said Joel LaBorde, Morgan County Airport Advisory Board chairman. "I'm guessing something else went wrong."